Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Bernie Kerik saga

The war on terror and the rise of the political underworld

By Bill Van Auken
16 December 2004

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The ignominious collapse of George W. Bush’s attempt to install Bernard Kerik as his secretary of homeland security has lifted the lid on the rather ugly can of worms that constitutes political relations within America’s ruling establishment.

The “global war on terrorism” constitutes the keystone of all of the Bush administration’s foreign and domestic policies. As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for US defenses against terrorist attacks, the job offered to Kerik is ostensibly one of the most important and complex in Washington, involving the leadership and coordination of multiple and competing agencies.

Kerik had no qualifications for the job. He had never worked in Washington, never held elective office and, until becoming the chauffeur and bodyguard of Rudolph Giuliani eleven years ago, when Giuliani was the Republican candidate for mayor of New York, was a high-school dropout whose experience consisted of stints as a jail guard and undercover narcotics cop.

He was rapidly elevated to top city posts under Giuliani, first as correction commissioner and then, in August 2000, as police commissioner, where he remained with little distinction for slightly over a year.

What made Kerik a hot property was September 11, 2001. Administration officials declared that appointing the ex-cop to head the Homeland Security Department would provide “9/11 symbolism” to Bush’s cabinet. Having an individual who was present when the Twin Towers fell in New York, it was apparently reasoned, would lend the DHS’ color-coded terror alerts greater credibility.

What precisely Kerik did on September 11, besides tag along with the mayor, is never discussed. The most publicized description of him on that day was given by Giuliani, who claims to have turned to his police commissioner as the first tower fell and declared, “Thank God George Bush is president.”

In delivering this tall tale to the Republican National Convention in New York last August, Giuliani neglected to include the punch line: “Because we’re going to get rich!”

Both Giuliani and Kerik cashed in shamelessly on one of the greatest tragedies in US history. Kerik rushed into print with his autobiography—only slightly behind his boss—including photographs of “Ground Zero” purloined from the police department’s files. To get the book out in time to make top dollar, he ordered police detectives to do research for him in Ohio, investigating the murder of the mother he never knew. He was subsequently fined $2,500 for exploiting city cops as his personal servants.



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